Cats CEO Brian Cook last night revealed preliminary ``corridor chats'' had found against luring Carey, 31, to Skilled Stadium.
Although adopting a never-say-never attitude, Cook said there was no plan to entice the two-time North Melbourne premiership player to Geelong.
``Our current collective feeling is it is more unlikely than likely, more negative than positive,'' Cook told the Advertiser.
``We don't want to give up our kids for him.
``We've put in so much effort into it and I can't see North Melbourne wanting one of our senior players.
``I don't think that's what they would be after.
``They would want one of our kids for their own future. It is not as simple as saying you want Carey,'' he said.
``The reality is what do you need to lure him?
``Not only do you have to find a lot of dollars but quite possibly have to give away some of your kids.''
The four-time club best-and-fairest winner and seven-time All Australian has started serious training with the view to kick-starting his interrupted career next year.
Confidant and manager Ricky Nixon, who yesterday denied a report that Carey would play with Adelaide next year, said he believed his star client would return to playing.
``I think he should only play on if the opportunity is right and if it's at the right club, and all those things take quite a while to work through,'' Nixon said.
Brisbane last night shot to favouritism to sign Carey, who last month indicated Carlton, Collingwood and Sydney were his preferred options.
Carey is in the US but an AFL source said the Lions would be the ideal option as he could distance himself from the spotlight he'd be under in Victoria.
Carey has not played since he quit the Kangaroos in disgrace in March after stunning revelations of an affair with the wife of his close friend and team-mate Anthony Stevens.
vp+3He remains on the Kangaroos list, but it appears more unlikely he will ever play for the club again, with non-Victorian clubs shaping up as the favourites. Given their bargaining power, the Kangaroos will look to strike a deal for high-profile players or priority picks in the November draft.
If such a trade couldn't be negotiated, Carey could nominate for the draft where the bottom clubs - most likely Carlton, St Kilda or Sydney - would have the first opportunity to select the key forward.
Carey has been linked to Adelaide and Sydney, where he has some strong bonds.
Cook said the Cats would meet in the next two weeks with Carey on the agenda. ``We are meeting on a monthly basis in terms of strategy for next year and I would say we do that (talk about Carey) this month.''